Acne and ageing: J&J exploring skin health markers via Sequential Skin research tie-up

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

J&J will combine its genomic database with data collected via Sequential Skin's skin patch tests to build out panels of skin health markers related to acne and ageing [Getty Images]
J&J will combine its genomic database with data collected via Sequential Skin's skin patch tests to build out panels of skin health markers related to acne and ageing [Getty Images]

Related tags J&J Johnson & johnson Sequential Skin Skin health skin microbiome Acne Ageing Dna Skin care beauty tech

Personal care major Johnson & Johnson is working with biotech specialist Sequential Skin to investigate whether there are any new markers for skin health, particularly those linked to acne and ageing.

Announced today, the collaboration marks the third joint project between J&J and Sequential Skin since March 2021 and will investigate and measure human (host) DNA markers and skin microbiome data in a bid to identify “new markers of skin health”. More specifically, the project goal aimed to identify markers related to acne and ageing.

‘Molecular changes on the skin’

“Our collaboration with Johnson & Johnson will give us the opportunity to improve upon our novel technologies at Sequential, to further understand how molecular changes on the skin may translate to skin and human health,” said Oliver Worsley PhD, CEO and co-founder of Sequential Skin.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Worsley said the collaboration would rely on data from Sequential’s skin patch collection system and J&J’s genomic database to build out new panels of skin health markers which could ultimately inform and improve any in-house research and development for the personal care major.

“From our skin patch, we can collect human (host) and microbial RNA, epigenetic markers (i.e. DNA methylation), DNA SNPs, protein, and lipids. This gives us a fuller and higher resolution of targeting a combined panel of markers that can relate to skin health. The skin microbiome is only half of the coin,” he said.

Investing in science-backed testing methodologies like this, and understanding “invisible players on the skin”, he said, was critical in predicting changes to the skin and overall health.

“These sub-clinical features may not express themselves until the disease progression has already started to take place, so understanding them gives a chance for early diagnosis and also more accurate treatment,” Worsley said.

‘Reliably characterise acne and ageing’

Worsley said the focus on identifying markers related to acne and ageing was across “different body sites, not just the face”.

“The idea of all of this is to find a test that can reliably characterise acne and ageing as two areas of study, in a quantitative, at-home, remote and low-cost way,” he said.

“…We would like to pioneer new ways of both testing and treating the skin microbiome. By having J&J on our side officially, we can start to launch commercial testing kits and effective consumer products over the next 1-3 years with them. It gives us a nice ability to scale-up with a partner in the field who is expert in consumer health.”

Worsley said partnerships like this would ultimately help push the beauty and personal care industry into developing more “microbiome-based and effective skin care” and hoped the R&D component of the collaboration could “benefit the entire industry” moving forward.

Last week, microbiome beauty brand Gallinée launched at-home skin health test kits in partnership with Sequential Skin​ – a move its founder Marie Drago said had been a “natural evolution” for the brand and a tie-up Worsley said marked an important step forward in widerning Sequential’s at-home testing reach.

Related topics Formulation & Science Skin Care

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